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FoodSardine Pasta • Best Canned Sardines Recipe {Video} • Two Purple Figs

Sardine Pasta • Best Canned Sardines Recipe {Video} • Two Purple Figs

Dear Reader, allow us to change your mind about sardines with this zesty tasty and easy sardine pasta! You will ABSOLUTELY not believe how good it is until you make it–I’ve heard this from so many people who tried it! Pasta with sardines may sound odd to us, but it’s an Italian staple al the way from Sicily!

A hand holding a fork on a plate of sardine pasta showing the sardines, basil, tomatoes, capers, lemon and olive oil sauce around it A hand holding a fork on a plate of sardine pasta showing the sardines, basil, tomatoes, capers, lemon and olive oil sauce around it

If you haven’t tried pasta with sardines before, you’re completely missing out. While we used canned sardines for this recipe, you can absolutely make it using our guide to cooking fresh Sardines. My grandpa, who is the genius cook behind some of our most viral recipes made sardines every week.

Some of my grandpa’s popular recipes include his Mediterranean Baked Fish, Hot Pepper Sauce, Olive Oil Cake, Pan Fried Potatoes and Fried Eggplant Salad.

Today’s sardine pasta was inspired by our many trips to Italy and it’s gorgeous cuisine! While pasta with sardines is classically a Sicilian recipe and would include olives, we have twisted it to a more Turkish Mediterranean recipe. Of course, inspired by the original Italian one. 

 

Why You’ll LOVE Sardine Pasta

  • You WON’T taste the sardines like you expect to! This is especially important for those who aren’t super friendly with the fish. It’s rather a mild seafood flavor blended with lemon, garlic, olive oil, capers and sweet tomatoes. HEAVENLY!
  • The pasta recipe comes together in 10 minutes start to finish.

A hand holding an opened can of sardines showing the boneless skinless sardines in a canA hand holding an opened can of sardines showing the boneless skinless sardines in a can

  • The quality of sardines is KEY. We love using MINA Sardines as they’re wild caught, boneless, skinless and packed in quality olive oil. It tastes and smells like the Mediterranean 💛
  • Likewise we love using MINA olive oil and capers for this recipe, their products are all phenomenal!
  • Makes a weeknight dinner wonder!
  • As quick and simple as this recipe is, it’s also super nutritious. 
  • This pasta with sardines requires super simple basic ingredients, and it’s super versatile.
  •  All you need is one pan for this recipe, no fuss and no mess!
  • Other amazing seafood pasta recipes include: Lobster Pasta, Mussels Marinara & Shrimp Pasta.

Ingredients To Make It

Ingredients for sardine pasta including canned sardines, fresh lemon, lots of garlic, a bottle of olive oil, some capers, cherry tomatoes, some fresh basil, salt and pepper, and some uncooked pasta on the side Ingredients for sardine pasta including canned sardines, fresh lemon, lots of garlic, a bottle of olive oil, some capers, cherry tomatoes, some fresh basil, salt and pepper, and some uncooked pasta on the side Ingredients for sardine pasta including canned sardines, fresh lemon, lots of garlic, a bottle of olive oil, some capers, cherry tomatoes, some fresh basil, salt and pepper, and some uncooked pasta on the side

  • Sardines. While you can use fresh Sardines and cook it with our guide, we have loved MINA canned sardines! They are wild caught, skinless, boneless sardines packed in quality extra virgin olive oil. They genuinely taste and smell like the Mediterranean! SO CLEAN. Quality canned sardines are KEY to this recipe.
  • Olive oil. Since this recipes uses minimal ingredients, quality olive oil is also KEY to the recipe. We’ve found MINA to have the highest quality single source olive oil there is. 
  • Garlic. While you can substitute shallots, we have loved garlic for this recipe.
  • Capers. The salty taste ad chewy texture makes capers one of the main flavors here–we use MINA capers as well.
  • Tomatoes. Fresh seasonal sweet cherry tomatoes are our favorite to use here.
  • Lemon. Lemon and seafood work wonderfully together, so we use the zest here and some slices to finish off the pasta.
  • Basil. While you can use any fresh herb like oregano or parsley, we’re sticking with the Italian classic : basil.
  • Spaghetti. This is completely a taste thing, so feel free to use your favorite.
  • Seasoning. A simple salt, pepper and chilli flakes is all you need.

How to Make Sardine Pasta

making sardine pasta sauce showing a skillets with lots of olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes cooking making sardine pasta sauce showing a skillets with lots of olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes cooking making sardine pasta sauce showing a skillets with lots of olive oil, garlic and cherry tomatoes cooking

  1. To make pasta with sardines, you’ll start with one skillet. A sauce pan or 10 inch skillet is what you need for the sauce and you’ll begin with lots of quality olive oil. The first layer of flavor is garlic and lots of seasonal sweet cherry tomatoes. 
    The sardines are then added here to the same skillet after the tomatoes have burst and the garlic has cooked The sardines are then added here to the same skillet after the tomatoes have burst and the garlic has cooked The sardines are then added here to the same skillet after the tomatoes have burst and the garlic has cooked
  2. When the tomatoes have burst slightly and released their juices, you’ll add in the sardines. make sure you’re using the  boneless type. It’s super tricky to eat pasta when there are tiny bones that can be a choking hazard.
    A hand adding in a spoonful of capers to the sauce panA hand adding in a spoonful of capers to the sauce panA hand adding in a spoonful of capers to the sauce pan3. Then you’ll add in the capers to the sauce and gently saute that with the sauce. Lots of fresh basil and fresh oregano added to the skillet once the sauce is finished Lots of fresh basil and fresh oregano added to the skillet once the sauce is finished Lots of fresh basil and fresh oregano added to the skillet once the sauce is finished
  3. Finish off with plenty of fresh herbs which add so much brightness to the pasta. We love a combo of fresh oregano and fresh basil. We love a seasoning of salt, pepper and lots of chilli flakes –but that’s completely up to you.
    Cooked spaghetti is added to the sauce skillet Cooked spaghetti is added to the sauce skillet Cooked spaghetti is added to the sauce skillet
  4. During the time when you’re making this sauce, it would be the time to cook the pasta simultaneously. We love a spaghetti or linguine for this sardine pasta recipe, however any shape of your choice would work.
    A hand pouring in some pasta water to the sauce to create a saucy sardine pastaA hand pouring in some pasta water to the sauce to create a saucy sardine pastaA hand pouring in some pasta water to the sauce to create a saucy sardine pasta
  5. For a luscious and saucy pasta with sardines, we use our favorite trick–pasta water! Simply reserve a cup or so of the pasta water when draining it. That water is added in slow amounts to the sardine pasta as you toss the spaghetti in. You’ll notice the sauce becomes creamy and luscious. 
    A hand pouring lots of olive oil on the top of the sardine pasta for a final touchA hand pouring lots of olive oil on the top of the sardine pasta for a final touchA hand pouring lots of olive oil on the top of the sardine pasta for a final touch
  6. The final touch and the MOST important one! The sardine pasta is enriched with a hefty drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil. Use quality olive oil here–you want to taste it! This will not cook, it’s a topping 🙂
    Side view close up of sardine pasta showing the sardines, blistered tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, olive oilSide view close up of sardine pasta showing the sardines, blistered tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, olive oilSide view close up of sardine pasta showing the sardines, blistered tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, olive oil
  7. Serve right away and enjoy!

Sardine Pasta Recipe Tips:

  1. We recommended boneless skinless sardines. Quality, wild caught fish that’s packed in EVOO is a game changer, specially the MINA brand. 
  2. Since this recipe has minimal and simple ingredients, make sure you use quality tasting ingredients. 
  3. You can use other veggies like shallots, onions, bell peppers and more. Make sure to customize it to your taste.
  4. It’s best to make and enjoy this dish right away.
  5. Try canned salmon for a variety of seafood.
  6. Avoid over mixing the sardines in the skillet as you don’t want them to mush, they should be chunks.
  7. The pasta water is for creating a saucy sauce for the pasta, you can however skip it if you prefer a dryer pasta.
  8. A finish of EVOO drizzled on top along with lemon zest is the perfect finish to the taste, and you’ll be tasting the brightness of both. We highly recommend this step!
  9. Avoid using lemon juice as it will make your pasta soggy. The zest is all you need for a perfect lemon flavor without the liquid.

a fork stretching the sardine pasta close up showing the capers, sardines and saucy pasta recipe a fork stretching the sardine pasta close up showing the capers, sardines and saucy pasta recipe a fork stretching the sardine pasta close up showing the capers, sardines and saucy pasta recipe

How to Store Leftovers? 

The dish can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days, although we recommend enjoying it all the same day. To reheat the pasta, you can so in the microwave, or in a skillet with some water to loosen up the sauce. Freezing this sauce is not our choice as the texture changes.

Can you use fresh Sardines to make this pasta with sardine recipe?

While you can absolutely use freshly cooked Sardines following this tutorial, we prefer canned. Since the fish has tiny fish bones which could be challenging to remove , we recommend boneless canned fish for this recipe. It is however your choice.

What to Serve with Sardine Pasta

 Garlic Bread , Fougasse or a bright Peach Burrata Salad, Panzanella Salad would work great. Likewise, you can dollop some Basil Pesto or Sun Dried Tomato Pesto too.

Pasta Recipes

Mussels Marinara
Burrata Pasta
Pasta Primavera
Pesto Pasta with Pistachio Pesto
Baked Ziti Recipe
Shrimp Pasta
Lobster Pasta
Spaghetti aglio e olio – Olive oil Pasta

Sardine Pasta

Ingredients

Sardine Pasta

  • 2
    teaspoons
    olive oil
    MINA brand is our fave!
  • 3-4
    garlic cloves
    minced
  • 1
    cup
    cherry tomatoes
  • 2
    cans
    sardines
    MINA is our favorite brand
  • 1 1/2
    Tablespoons
    capers
    Likewise, MINA is our favorite
  • 1/4
    cup
    Herbs
    fresh basil and fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4
    teaspoon
    salt and pepper
  • 1
    box
    spaghetti
    cooked
  • 1/2
    cup
    Pasta water
    to make a sauce

Serving

  • 1/4
    cup
    olive oil
    MINA is our favorite
  • 1
    lemon
    zested
  • 1/2
    teaspoons
    chilli flakes
    optional

Instructions

  1. To make pasta with sardines, you’ll start with one skillet. A sauce pan or 10 inch skillet is what you need for the sauce and you’ll begin with lots of quality olive oil. The first layer of flavor is garlic and lots of seasonal sweet cherry tomatoes.

  2. When the tomatoes have burst slightly and released their juices, you’ll add in the sardines. make sure you’re using the  boneless type. It’s super tricky to eat pasta when there are tiny bones that can be a choking hazard.

  3. Then you’ll add in the capers to the sauce and gently saute that with the sauce.

  4. Finish off with plenty of fresh herbs which add so much brightness to the pasta. We love a combo of fresh oregano and fresh basil. We love a seasoning of salt, pepper and lots of chilli flakes –but that’s completely up to you.

  5. During the time when you’re making this sauce, it would be the time to cook the pasta simultaneously. We love a spaghetti or linguine for this sardine pasta recipe, however any shape of your choice would work.

  6. For a luscious and saucy pasta with sardines, we use our favorite trick–pasta water! Simply reserve a cup or so of the pasta water when draining it. That water is added in slow amounts to the sardine pasta as you toss the spaghetti in. You’ll notice the sauce becomes creamy and luscious.

  7. The final touch and the MOST important one! The sardine pasta is enriched with a hefty drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil. Use quality olive oil here–you want to taste it! This will not cook, it’s a topping 🙂

  8. Serve right away and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Sardine Pasta Recipe Tips:

  1. We recommended boneless skinless sardines. Quality, wild caught fish that’s packed in EVOO is a game changer, specially the MINA brand. 
  2. Since this recipe has minimal and simple ingredients, make sure you use quality tasting ingredients. 
  3. You can use other veggies like shallots, onions, bell peppers and more. Make sure to customize it to your taste.
  4. It’s best to make and enjoy this dish right away.
  5. Try canned salmon for a variety of seafood.
  6. Avoid over mixing the sardines in the skillet as you don’t want them to mush, they should be chunks.
  7. The pasta water is for creating a saucy sauce for the pasta, you can however skip it if you prefer a dryer pasta.
  8. A finish of EVOO drizzled on top along with lemon zest is the perfect finish to the taste, and you’ll be tasting the brightness of both. We highly recommend this step!
  9. Avoid using lemon juice as it will make your pasta soggy. The zest is all you need for a perfect lemon flavor without the liquid.

How to Store Leftovers? 

The dish can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days, although we recommend enjoying it all the same day. To reheat the pasta, you can so in the microwave, or in a skillet with some water to loosen up the sauce. Freezing this sauce is not our choice as the texture changes.

Can you use fresh Sardines to make this pasta with sardine recipe?

While you can absolutely use freshly cooked Sardines following this tutorial, we prefer canned. Since the fish has tiny fish bones which could be challenging to remove , we recommend boneless canned fish for this recipe. It is however your choice.

What to Serve with Sardine Pasta

 Garlic Bread , Fougasse or a bright Peach Burrata Salad, Panzanella Salad would work great. Likewise, you can dollop some Basil Pesto or Sun Dried Tomato Pesto too.

Nutrition Facts

Sardine Pasta

Amount Per Serving

Calories 987
Calories from Fat 441

% Daily Value*

Fat 49g75%

Saturated Fat 7g44%

Polyunsaturated Fat 11g

Monounsaturated Fat 28g

Cholesterol 178mg59%

Sodium 876mg38%

Potassium 1.274mg0%

Carbohydrates 89g30%

Fiber 10g42%

Sugar 9g10%

Protein 62g124%

Vitamin A 826IU17%

Vitamin C 48mg58%

Calcium 567mg57%

Iron 8mg44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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